The company said in a statement that it had successfully extracted the 460 tonne rotor of the 172MW, G-23 turbine, which is the only unit due for ’emergency’ refurbishment while three others will have repairs. The cost of the phase 1 works is budgeted at US$25M

Phase 2 of the refurbishment project is also scheduled to begin later in 2007 and will complete the refurbishment of an additional four units at a cost of US$110M.

MagEnergy is performing the refurbishment under a public private partnership (PPP) agreement, signed in mid-2005, with Societe Nationale d’Electricite (SNEL) – the state electricity commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Following the initial PPP deal, the company has been joined in the venture by South Africa-based Industrial Development Coporation (IDC).

Inga II was commissioned in 1982 with eight turbines, but due to years of reduced demand in the country and restricted maintenance budgets the operational output has been limited to only about 350MW. Combined with its sister plant Inga I, which has six units of 52MW capacity, the hydro stations have only had outputs of about 700MW in recent years despite total installed capacity of more than 1700MW.

However, increased energy demand nationally, including from the mining industry, and internationally have led to the refurbishment initiative. Consultant Ingerop undertook the technical studies for the programme prior to the PPP deal.

Project partners MagEnergy and IDC are sharing the costs of the refurbishment programme. First revenues from the re-commissioning of the units is scheduled for 2008 and all four units should be online again by 2011. Under the terms of the PPP deal, MagEnergy and IDC have revenue-sharing arrangements with SNEL.